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Sunday, August 06, 2017

Using Extrusion Templates in Fusion 360 Using Insert into Current Design

An F4U Corsair at Planes of Fame in Chino Ca.
Photo is mine.
As part of my Fusion 360 experience, I've been building different parts for a WW2 era Vought F4U Corsair.

Why am I doing it?  It provides me an opportunity to learn how a machine like this was put together, it challenges me to find ways to use Fusion to find creative ways to solve design challenges, and I flat out enjoy it!

And what's the point of doing it if it's not a least a little bit fun!

The planes I've used came via my subscription to Aircorps Library, who has done a marvelous job scanning and sharing plans for WW2 era aircraft.

And before you ask, sorry, I'm not sharing the plans.  I pay for my subscription with them, and I'm happy to support their efforts.  To me, sharing their plans without proper compensation would be tantamount to stealing their hard work.

But with that being said, here's what I've learned about how the engineers of the 1930s and 1940s who designed the Corsair, and here's how I was able to get Fusion to help me with my "recreation" efforts.

Many parts were created from extrusions,  These extrusions were in turn, machined to create various parts for different parts of the aircraft.

The "Make From" reference in the
drawing's title block
Due to this fact, the finished parts had a note to "make from", the "from" part referencing the standard extrusion.

Well the last thing I want to do is redraw the exact same shape for multiple parts!

So here's how I was able to use Fusion to make the extrusion profile available, and reusable, to multiple drawings.

It's actually quite simple.  The first step is to create the cross section of the extrusion in a Fusion 360 part file.  I opted not to extrude the part at this point in time.

A sample of the extrusion template
This part becomes my template for future use.

The next step is to insert the template into a new model file so I can create new parts from the template.

The goal of this is to insert the previously created sketch into a new model, and extrude this sketch to create a new part.

First start a new Fusion 360 file.  Once the file is open, browse to the location of your template, and choose "Insert into Current Design".

Choosing  "Insert into Current Design" to use the
template for the extrusion

This function links the extrusion profile into the new file.  Once the sketch has been inserted, the sketch can be extruded just like it had been created right in the part, instead of being linked in.

The part being extruded using Fusions std. Extrusion tool
Once the extrusion is created, you can work on the part just like any other Fusion 360 part.  You can add and remove material as needed to meet your design requirements.

That's the basics  of creating an extrusion template in Fusion 360.   At least that's how I've approached it.

So what are the advantages I found that drew me to this conclusion?

Well, for starters, I don't have to drawing the same shape over and over again.  That alone is reason to chose that route, at least for me.

Second, any new parts created from the template are linked back to that original template.  So in the event any changes have to be made to the template, the parts generated from the template will also update.

In the event that happens, it can be a lot easier to update several parts than have to transfer the same dimension to several parts, and run the risk of missing that one odd part.

So in conclusion, this is why I approached this file in this way.  You may come at it completely differently, or maybe just vary this process just a little bit.

It's up to you!  If you find a different approach, feel free to share  in the comments.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Planes of Fame Air Museum or AirCorps Library.

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